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  • Adverbials of frequency are used to say how often something happens.
  • Adverbials of probability are used to say how sure we are about something.
  • These adverbials usually come before the main verb, but they come after ‘be’ as a main verb.
  • 1. We use adverbials of frequency to say how often something happens.

    a lot
    hardly ever

    We often swam in the sea.

    She never comes to my parties.

    2. We use adverbials of probability to say how sure we are about something.


    I definitely saw her yesterday.

    The driver probably knows the quickest route.

    3. We usually put adverbials of frequency and probability before the main verb and after an auxiliary or a modal.

    He sometimes works downstairs in the kitchen.

    We are definitely wasting wer time.

    I have never had such a horrible meal!

    I shall never forget this day.

    Note that we usually put them after 'be' as a main verb.

    He is always careful with his money.

    We are probably right.

    ‘Perhaps’ usually comes at the beginning of the sentence.

    Perhaps the beaches are cleaner in the north.

    Perhaps we need a membership card to get in.

    ‘A lot’ always comes after the main verb.

    I go swimming a lot in the summer.

    4. ‘Never’ is a negative adverb.

    She never goes abroad.

    I've never been to Europe.

    We normally use ‘ever’ in questions, negative sentences, and ‘if’-clauses.

    Have you ever been to a football match?

    Don't ever do that again!

    If you ever need anything, just call me.

    Note that we can sometimes use ‘ever’ in affirmative sentences, for example after a superlative.

    She is the best dancer I have ever seen.

    We use ‘hardly ever’ in affirmative sentences to mean almost never.

    We hardly ever meet.

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